Zeppelins Over Norfolk

Part 4

The Casualties

Taylor & Smith

Martha Taylor and Samuel Smith who became the first casualties to be killed in a Zeppelin raid on England.

The unfortunate men and women, as quoted in the coroner’s summing up of the raid on Great Yarmouth, are now buried in Kitchener Road Cemetery in Great Yarmouth, Caister on Sea Cemetery and Hardwick Road Cemetery in King’s Lynn.

In total four people lost their lives in the raids on Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn. Martha Taylor, aged 72, and Samuel Smith, aged 53. Both died as a result of blast damage when Bomb No 4 landed on St Peter’s Plain. In King’s Lynn it was Percy Goate, aged 14, and Alice Gazely, aged 26. Both are reported to have died from shock and, in total, the raid on King’s Lynn injured thirteen others.

Their deaths have been widely reported in various books and I will not dwell on that any further. But I do want to write about one of them. Last year for the Centenary of the raids a service of remembrance was held at Kitchener Road Cemetery which I attended. During this service Sam Smith’s renovated grave was dedicated and a wreath was laid by the Mayor of Great Yarmouth.


Sam Smith’s grave in Kitchener Road Cemetery in Great Yarmouth

Sadly the same thing cannot be said for Martha Taylor. Nobody visited her grave on the day except for me. Her grave is in a part of Caister Cemetery which, unless you know where to look, you will not find her. Her grave was not renovated for the Centenary and is falling into disrepair.


Marth Taylor’s grave in Caister Cemetery. Note the damage to her grave. She is laid to rest with her twin sister Jane.

I was saddened by this and told that her grave would be cleared and a service held later on after the Centenary. Again this saddened me. So I want to draw attention to this and if you do live locally please give her a thought and perhaps consider visiting her.


The inscription on Martha Taylor’s grave which is now falling into disrepair noting that she was a victim of the air raid on 19th January 1915.



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